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June 2011
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Satureja Gilliesii – a shrub that belongs to the family Lamiaceae

Satureja Gillesii is a shrub that belongs to the family Lamiaceae. These species are very useful to human beings as they have medicinal properties. Certain organic chemicals are derived from these species. This shrub is a native of South America. The plant bears blue flowers and can grow up to a height of 1.5 meters. They grow on low altitude and interior valleys.
They need moist soil but can grow in somewhat dry areas too. They need full exposure to sun and partial shade. This shrub needs USDA Hardiness Zone of 9. This shrub cannot tolerate too cold weathers like snow. The maximum freezing temperature of -5 degree centigrade is what the shrub can tolerate. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and needs dry to moist soil.
These species are called savories. Winter savory and Summer savory are among the thirty of the known species and most important. They are both annual and a perennial and can grow up to a height of 15-50cm. They are herbs and low growing in heights, being sub shrubs. Their leaves are in 1-3cm of length and bear flowers that form whorls on stems. The flowers are white to pale pink-violet. They attract larva of Lepidoptera that is butterflies and moths. Coleophora bifrondella moth and caterpillars feed on these plants especially on Winter savories.
They can be used as ornamental plants. These plants are basically used for flavoring food. Winter savories are evergreen perennials and so always available unlike summer savories which are available only in summer. The leaves are either used dried or fresh in Italian cuisine and mostly for cooking beans.

Growing conditions of Satureja Gilliesii:

• These plants needs full sun to partial shade and well drained soil. It needs a hardy zone of 9.
• The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
• This plant needs dry to moist soil.

As a perennial,
• Sow the savory outdoors every four weeks.
• The seeds should be sown on the soil surface from just after the last frost.
• Sow the seeds on the surface at the end of the spring.
• They need to be spaced at about 15cm apart.

As an annual,
• Sow the seeds indoors in pots about a month.
• Then transplant them outside after the frost of the spring.
• The seed germination needs about two week at 15-20 degrees centigrade.

Caring for Satureja gilliesii:

• Proper watering is required to avoid drying of soil.
• If grown indoors, six hours of sunlight is a must for the plant.
• Water only when the soil gets dried out, instead of watering regularly.
• Pinch of the tips of the young plant to ensure bushiness.
• The wood that is dead of the plant should be removed for new growth.
• Dividing plants every three years encourages new growth and vigor.
• Divide the plant in spring or in autumn.
• If stem cuttings are done for propagation, the best time is spring.

Images of plant ‘Satureja Gilliesii’ on Google Search (link)

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